Blog

HP Turns 200

Evolution of Landmark Property

By: John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources

Like most older buildings, the Hampton-Preston Mansion has evolved over time. Today, it stands as an amalgamation of changes, some large, some small, all interesting in their own right. Each change offers clues about the people who designed, built and subsequently modified the former residence so that it could perform...

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HP Turns 200

Welcome to Columbia: Wish You Were Here?

By: John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources

In November 1943, local real estate developer and lawyer Thomas Hair bought the former Hampton-Preston estate, which had been placed to many uses since Chicora College left Columbia nearly 15 years earlier. Banking on the property’s widely known association with members of Columbia’s and South Carolina’s most elite families, Hair...

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HP Turns 200

Preservation Matters

By: John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources

Much-anticipated capital improvements to the Hampton-Preston site during work this winter and spring have yielded exciting finds—both inside and outside the building. In December, paint analyst Betty Prime with Meadors Construction of Charleston, spent two days pulling samples to determine how occupants changed the house over time to better suit...

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Hampton Family Domestic Servants

Including Voices Long-Unheard

By: John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources

Imagine having a story to share with others but being unable to do so. Perhaps, no one wanted to hear what you had to say—even if your contribution would make everyone’s experience more meaningful. Maybe your voice was muted intentionally; maybe it was quieted, or silenced altogether, through circumstances, including...

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HP Turns 200

Monkey Puzzle: The "Living Fossil" of Hampton-Preston

By: Keith Mearns, Horticulturist

The gardens of the Hampton-Preston Mansion were one of the most celebrated in the antebellum south. With so much space to fill, we have relied on several sources to narrow our focus for plant material. While no explicit records of the content of the gardens exists from the Hamptons or...

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HP Turns 200

HP's Newest Installation

By: Fielding Freed, Director of Historic House Museums

Good things come to those who wait. That’s a great saying, if in the end you do indeed get what you waited for. The forthcoming installation of an historically correct floor covering in the entry hall of the Hampton-Preston Mansion is eighteen years in the making for HC’s Director of...

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Bride and Groom at RMH

Styled Wedding Photoshoot at Robert Mills

Spring is right around the corner and love is in bloom at Historic Columbia’s verdant homes. Since the 1800s, visitors have traveled hundreds of miles to see our gardens. Seibels House was often mentioned in 19th- and 20th-century travelogues and articles with writers fawning over the foliage; postcards with the...

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RMH

True Love at the Robert Mills House

By: Fielding Freed, Director of Historic House Museums

I was a newspaper photographer when I was a much younger man. During the late 1990s, as that field began to shrink, I went back to graduate school then on to work in the museum field. I’m still a shutterbug though, and I still shoot good old fashioned negative film...

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Women on Mann-Simons tour

Capital Women: Of Strength, Courage and Wisdom

By: Kim Jamieson, Historic Columbia Board of Trustees member

In 2016, Historic Columbia reopened the Mann-Simons Site with newly installed exhibits, interactive touchscreens, recorded audio and numerous visuals – enhancing the overall experience for each guest. I recently had the opportunity to take a tour and was blown away by the comprehensive updates Historic Columbia had incorporated into the...

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Modjeska Simkins on her porch

#TBT: Who is Modjeska Monteith Simkins?

By: Lois Carlisle, Executive Assistant

For more than sixty years, Modjeska Monteith Simkins used the wooden cottage at the corner of Elmwood and Marion St. as both a home and a headquarters. Known as the “matriarch of Civil Rights activists” in S.C., Modjeska Monteith Simkins led the charge for equality tirelessly her entire adult life...

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